Take your business to the next level
The early stage of start-up life is tough. The long hours, high pressure, and dedication is exhausting but often leads to creativity, innovation, and an emerging brand. We gathered these words of wisdom from people who have travelled the growth path before.
Think like a big company
To hit £100m+ a year in revenue takes vision, persistence, people and systems. The sooner you can build on these foundations the faster you scale.
Have a plan and share it
“A goal without a plan,” as the saying goes, “is just a wish”. No journey can succeed without a clear roadmap of how to get there. So you need to be bold in your ambitions and share your vision. That takes courage – but so did quitting your job to set up a new business. It needs to be shared with your team and reported on. Show them that it’s working and celebrate their achievements and the parts team members are playing in moving forward on your journey.
Find self-starters that match your vision
Recruit staff with the attitude you need to win new customers and take your business to the next level. You can’t grow from a start-up to a medium or large business with people who expect to work side-by-side with the founder every day. You need self-starters, people who buy into your vision, people with the grit and the spark to embrace your journey from start-up to scale up.
“You can have the best strategy and the best building in the world, but if you don’t have the hearts and minds of the people who work with you, none of it comes to life.”
Renee West, formerly president of Luxor and Excalibur Resorts, Las Vegas
“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”
Simon Sinek, author
Build the right culture
Nothing quite strengthens these foundations like a strong culture. This will protect your reputation, your team, and your products/services through the challenges of growth. A clear understanding of the company’s purpose, aligned to the things your customers value about your business, will ensure everyone understands your focus and priorities.
A strong culture also makes recruitment much easier. It will draw the kind of people that you need to your business.
“Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur.”
David Cummings, co-founder, Pardot
Get the right tech
Get a decent CRM. There are plenty out there from Salesforce to Pipedrive. Without a solid customer relationship management system and robust database, you are operating in the dark. You need accurate and up-to-date records of current customers, prospective clients and proper detailed tracking of opportunities in your pipeline to understand the critical points at which a deal is won or lost.
“Most of the world will make decisions by either guessing or using their gut. They will be either lucky or wrong.”
Suhail Doshi, chief executive officer, Mixpanel.
As the founder of a fast-growing and ambitious business, you have a proven track record in sales. But a big part of what you are selling when you are talking to investors and supporters is yourself and your personal abilities. That only goes so far…
To get to the next level, you need to become an expert in selling your product or services, then set up a systematic approach to selling that you can share across your team.
Activity-based selling sets out clear steps that focus on understanding customer needs, demonstrating how you meet them, and closing the deal in a way that is aligned to the customer’s purchase decision-making process. This can be highly complex if you are selling to large corporates or public sector bodies.
It also reduces the risk of sales teams chasing deals at all costs and focuses on a step-by-step approach that can also keep people motivated and focused during what can seem like interminable delays from the customer.
“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”
W Edwards Demming, management consultant
Get clear on your target market, your target persona, entry-level product, their sales journey. Systemize it to scale.
Use analysis and insight to inform your marketing and sales activities
You can’t build a business from one-off sales. You need the insight to sustain and grow them. So you need to build a detailed customer profile looking at roles, locations, activities. Understand who they are, where you find them, what needs you meet for them and what are their pain points. How can you show them that your product or service is the best solution?
While you are doing analysis, don’t forget to look at your competitors too. What do they do well? Where do they threaten you the most? How can you overcome it?
Once you have clarity on the target market, target persona, entry-level product and the buyer journey you have a system.
When you have a system you can scale.
Outsourcing is one of the most effective ways to scale.
Enshored provides sales and marketing services to some of the world’s fastest-growing start-ups.